Abraham & Straus was a department store, founded in 1865 by Joseph Wechsler and Abraham Abraham. The store was located in Brooklyn, New York, and was known as Wechsler & Abraham. In 1893, Wechler’s share of the company was bought by the Straus family, who also owned shares in Macy’s. The store then became known as Abraham & Straus, or simply, A&S. During the 1910s, the Straus family separated their interest in the two stores, with Abraham & Straus going to one branch of the family, and Macy’s to the other.
In 1929, A&S joined with Bloomingdales, Filene’s and Lazarus to form Federated Department Stores, Inc. Through the depression, A&S managed to stay open by cutting employee pay and through creative scheduling of employee hours. As a result, no A&S employees lost their jobs due to the economic crisis of the 1930s.
Through the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, Abraham & Straus expanded into different markets, opening stores throughout the greater New York city area.
In 1994, Federated Department Stores bought the bankrupt Macy’s, and combined them with A&S. In 1995, the Abraham & Straus name was dropped, and the stores were renamed as Macy’s. The large A&S flagship store in Brooklyn is still open as Macy’s.
Written by Lizzie Bramlett, fuzzylizzie.com